A.M. / P.M.

I find a lot of comfort and structure in routines, especially morning and night ones. How you start and end each day is directly correlated to how you live that day. I wanted to share mine to kick off A.M/P.M, a new series that features the morning and night routines of people who are winning at life. 

A.M

My alarm (Helios from the iPhone’s bedtime mode) goes off at 6 A.M. I immediately groan, and kick off my covers. Feet on the ground. I get up and walk to dresser that faces my bed, turn off the alarm, and immediately head into the bathroom to brush my teeth and put in my contacts. I’m blind as a bat without them.

I return to the bedroom, and sit on the edge of my bed as I take my vitamins (presorted and ready in this case) and down the lemon water in my TumTum. I make the bed, and then head over to my reading chair for my morning routine.

I settle in and fill out the morning entry of the Five Minute Journal, trying to write answers that go beyond “I am grateful for coffee” and “I want to get a lot of writing done”. My affirmation is always the same, thanks to one of Christine D’Ercole (one of my favorite Peloton instructors).

“I am…I can…I will…I do.”

I close my journal, grab my iPad, and open the morning routine folder. I launch the Samsara app and settle into a quick meditation (5-7 minutes), meditating on the same affirmation I wrote in my journal. I either meditate on this affirmation or repeatedly count up to 10 – depends on the day.

Once I’ve meditated, I launch The Economist Espresso app to get a quick look at what’s going on in the world. Bulgaria has a new president. Egypt’s economy is in the toilet.

2017, you are just the year that keeps on giving.

With my mind finally awake, I exit that app and open Google Drive. I spent the next 20-30 minutes writing (usually a blog post draft, but sometimes a personal essay). I’ve found that writing something, beginning to end, primes my mind for a productive day better than any other habit. And if my day is derailed by an emergency or last-minute meeting, I still feel like I got work done.

After I finish writing, I quickly click over to my blog to ensure the day’s post is live (and sometimes check Instagram too). I get up, slip on my Apple Watch, and go straight to the gym.

I jump straight into the day’s workout – BBG on Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays or a Peloton ride on Tuesdays-Thursdays-Saturdays.

Today’s workout involved jump lunges and burpees today. My legs are jelly.

I head to the kitchen to top off my water glass and make a smoothie. As the first sip hits my lips, I hear a “Maaaaaa maaaaa! Daaaaaa DAAAAAAAAA!”

Rho’s awake. And his da da is already in his room.

I finish my smoothie and water while making two lattes from our Nespresso machine. I hand Sri his coffee and grab Rho for a hug and kiss(es). We enjoy our morning for a few minutes. Peace.

Rho shimmies off his chair and plays while I (attempt to) read that day’s Washington Post. Sri’s off getting ready for work while I read the headlines aloud and skim the articles. I fold the paper closed and make us breakfast (scrambled eggs for him, a fried egg on sprouted bread with hummus for me). Some mornings, I have to resort to an episode of Sesame Street in order for him to eat. Today is one of those mornings.

Naleeni, our nanny, walks in the door. “Naaaaa naaaaaa!” squeals Rho, running towards her. She scoops him up and whisks him to his room to change his clothes and get him ready for the day. I do the same for myself.

P.M

It’s 9 P.M. Rho’s been asleep for an hour or so, the kitchen is clean, and Legos and toys no longer litter the living room floor. After watching a bit of TV (tonight was an old episode of Star Trek: Voyager while responding to e-mails), it’s time to start getting ready for bed.

I refill my tumbler with 30 ounces of water (plus juice of half a lemon squeezed in) and head to our room. I close out all the browser windows and apps on my phone and plug it in to charge – airplane mode, unmuted, and bedtime mode enabled. I return to my reading chair to complete my night entry of the Five Minute Journal, trying to recall memories beyond “strong workout” or “reading and snuggles with Rho” to write down. Tonight, I can’t think of any.

I brush and floss my teeth, wash my face (first with this oil, followed by this cleanser) and apply a mixture of serums, creams, and moisturizers. Today I’m feeling dry, so I apply both the Goop face oil and Glossier Super Bounce before topping it off with this Bliss gel. I take out a workout outfit for the next day and lay it on top of the dresser, and head into the bedroom.

I climb into bed (having changed into my pajamas hours ago) and grab my Kindle. I’m about a quarter through My Lady Jane, and can’t get enough of the hilarious prose and the clever alternate history of Jane Grey.

“Da da daaaa” chimes my phone. I turn off the Kindle, slip off my glasses and slip on my eye mask, and settle on my left side. Deep breath in, hold, deep breath out…

Who would you like to see profiled in A.M/P.M? COMMENT below and let me know!

P.S. – my morning routine a year ago, how I keep up with the news and established my meditation practice, and a day in my life.

A.M / P.M ESSENTIALS

Vitamin caseTumTum tumbler – reading chair – Five Minute JournalSamsaraThe Economist EspressoKayla Itsines’ BBGPeloton cycleNespresso machine & steamerDaily Harvest smoothiesVitamix blender – Washington PostOne Love Organics cleansing oilNeocutis cleanserGoop face oilGlossier serumsBliss gel creamKindle VoyagePerpetual Shade sleep mask

thumbnail image via

  • graceatwood

    I always love seeing other people’s routines!!! Checking out the five minute journal now… have been looking for something like that.

    • hithaonthego

      I love it! They also have a great app, which I use when I’m traveling. Let me know what you think of it.

  • Awesome post – thanks for sharing. I also like seeing other’s people morn/night routine. Your morning routine seems so relaxing. How long does your night routine (I always want to be in bed by 10…but sometimes it just gets later and later)

    • hithaonthego

      It’s relaxing when I actually get out of bed at 6 a.m (I’m lucky that Rho sleeps in until 7:30 and my husband is with him during that time).
      For my night routine, the whole thing (without the reading) takes about 15 minutes. I read anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending how tired I am or how good the book is. I have a chime play at 10:30 p.m (via bedtime mode) that signals me to finish the chapter – or get a move on my night routine, if I’m up late working.

  • Aubrey

    I love routines! I’m trying to get into a morning meditation routine. I’m a night mediator but that often ends in me asleep…not so mindful. Love this series, keep them coming please. :)

    • hithaonthego

      I’m excited to share the next few features with you – thanks for the love! Try out a mantra-based meditation for mornings. It’s the only method that works for me, period.

      • Aubrey

        I’ll try that. Thank you!

  • I love these types of posts! Super impressed you’re able to get all of this in as a mom- it’s tough to make time for yourself but it’s SO KEY to use the time you have.

    • hithaonthego

      Thank you! Honestly, motherhood is the best efficiency hack. I’ve never been more aware about how I spend my time, and spend it wisely.
      That also involves relaxing wisely – a hot bath, glass of wine or tea, and a good book for 30 minutes is pure heaven.

      • AMEN- SO TRUE. I question myself all the time on how much I got done pre-motherhood.

        • hithaonthego

          It’s because we actually relaxed pre-motherhood! While I wouldn’t change a thing now, I miss those lazy days of binge watching shows and staying up late just because.

  • Ann Marie

    Very impressive routine! I’m curious about your thoughts on the pelton…I’ve been wanting one for awhile but am pregnant currently and thinking it might be best to wait until after baby arrives this summer. Have you had it awhile, and do you see yourself using it longterm? I guess my main concern is getting bored of it, though I imagine all the class options help keep it interesting.

    • hithaonthego

      I LOVE my Peloton cycle. I have a full review coming to the blog in a few weeks, but if you have the room for it and love cycling workouts, it’s the best. I’ve had mine since August, and I still ride 2-3 times a week (sometimes 4). Each instructor has their own vibe and there’s so many great workouts for different time durations (20 minute arms and intervals, HIIT, live DJ). The ‘Beyond The Ride’ workouts are great – the boxing, arms, and yoga are all great. I think this bike would be perfect for you after your baby (congratulations!) is born.

      • Ann Marie

        Thanks so much!

  • Tammy

    I’m constantly lusting over Peloton and I have you to blame for this.

    Happy to stumble upon this post as I came here to look for your post about how to keep up with the news. I’m super excited for this new series you have going! It’s amazing to see you adapting you change and always trying something fresh!

    • hithaonthego

      I’m working on an updated version of the news post! I’m really loving the Axios and Reliable Sources newsletters right now, if you’re looking to add to your current reading.

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  • I adore this! As a personal trainer and lifestyle coach, I am all about that routine for starting and ending the day. My mornings have two versions, depending on my training schedule, but your morning routine sounds a lot like mine when I don’t have my 6am clients! Happy to have found your blog :)

    • hithaonthego

      I have a mini version too, for those mornings when I have to run out early or let myself sleep in. Having a “lite” routine is so important to stay consistent!

  • Fun and fascinating post, thanks! I’m currently on a sabbatical of sorts and one of my goals is to spend time working out a good morning and evening routine so that I’m in ready when I’m back working full time (and also adding a grad program to the mix). Currently my morning routine includes hitting snooze a few times and then jumping online to stalk whatever sold out items of clothing I’m obsessing over (there are always a few). So, room for improvement!

    • hithaonthego

      Trust me – I used to do that, and it’s still a struggle to not reach for my phone first thing in the morning. But it’s amazing how productive your morning can be when you resist!

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  • Eram

    Recommendations on a night cream? Currently using Skinsceuticals, but looking to try something new. Thanks to you, I am addicted to M16 wipes!

    • hithaonthego

      I’m loving One Love Organics Vitamin E eye cream for night, and La Roche Posay Pigmentclear for day. Both are great – highly recommend them!